Sawasdee : Saying Goodbye to Thailand

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As I sit here on my last day in Thailand staring at my packed bags I cannot help but let the memories of the past two years creep into my thoughts.  This adventure has reached its culmination but it has imbued a long lasting effect on my life.  Between the people I have met, the crystal blue waters that I have swam in, and the children that I have had the pleasure of teaching, my time in Thailand has been nothing but extraordinary.

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I Can See Clearly Now : Eye Care in Thailand

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It is an unfortunate truth that I am blind as a bat wearing a blindfold without my contacts or glasses so it was necessary I properly prepare when moving to Thailand.  I made sure to bring a year’s supply of contacts and my glasses just in case but eventually my stock ran out and my specs were scratched.  It was time I visited the an eye care center for the first time in Thailand.  Rest assured my fellow sightless travelers as eye care in this Southeast Asia hotspot is a breeze to find (barring the language barrier).

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Beer Snob Abroad : Craft Beer in Thailand

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One of the most difficult adjustments this traveler had to make when living in Thailand was the severe lack of diversity in beer options, or, at the very least, easy access to those options.  It can be quite difficult to dig yourself out of a pile of nothing but Chang, Leo, and Singha beers, but rest easy as a true craft beer scene is beginning to emerge in the Land of Smiles.  The options are still severely lacking but it is becoming a bit simpler to satiate your hops craving.

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Khanom, Thailand : A Backpacker’s Respite

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A typical backpacker’s journey to the south of Thailand will take them to the party islands of Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Pha Ngan where free flow Sang Som buckets and neon-painted tourists reign supreme.  These islands are a tremendous experience in their own right but every now and then the wandering soul might require a bit of time away from the fire shows and non-stop EDM parties.  This is where the lovely beach town of Khanom comes in.  Commonly frequented by the expat teachers of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat, this quiet oceanside community may slip by the standard traveler’s radar.  It features a stretch of nearly untouched sand that can provide a much needed rest on your Thailand holiday.

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Surviving Thailand : Motorbike Safety Tips

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Have you ever played a game of Frogger?  That is essentially the same game you are playing when driving a motorbike on the roads in Thailand.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Thailand has the second deadliest roadways in the entire world.  That is a great deal of pressure put on your shoulders while making your way to teach every morning.  It is not all doom and gloom though as I have gathered the skills to face these automobile challenges and bring you this article.  Rest assured as I have sat down with some of the best farang minds in Surat Thani to compile a multitude of suggestions to ensure your safety on the road as you seek to educate the youth in the Land of Smiles.

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6 Things to Do in Pai During the Dry Season

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When most explorers are planning their trip to Pai, Thailand they see bright green photos with mountains looming in the backdrops.  What may surprise you is that if you visit Pai in the dry season the scenery is going to be vastly different.  Dry season in Pai runs from November through April and offers a unique perspective on this northern mountain town.  A haze covers the landscape as farmers are burning their rice paddies for the next season’s crop and the lush greenery begins to incorporate a mixture of reds and yellows.  And while the lack of rain does dry up many of the waterfalls you can still find a few of these oases in the right spots.  Here are my top 6 ways to enjoy Pai during the dry season.

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8 Ways to Make Teaching in Thailand Easier

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It is the day before you start your job of instructing the future of Thailand.  All you can feel are nerves running through every inch of your body.  Sit back and let me calm you down a bit.  Teaching in “The Land of Smiles” is no simple job but there are many ways you can improve the work environment and create as relaxing of an atmosphere as is possible.  It may come as a surprise that many of these suggestions have absolutely no relation to teaching whatsoever.  Appearance and show are the name of the game when creating a great impression on the first day of school.

Having been through two first days of school I have garnered a few skills in setting a good precedent for the year to come.  Hopefully you find some of these useful as well.

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Spotlight Bangkok : The Jam Factory

IMG_20150926_165212I absolutely love being in the city but at the same time I crave fresh air.  This could be why three of the four Spotlight Bangkok posts have been about embracing the outdoors while still in metropolis.

Featured today is an amalgam of the previous posts as this must-do activity involves a unique restaurant, beautiful city views, and an independent market.  In fact it evens adds live music, a bookshop, a furniture showroom, and an art gallery to the lineup.  To be succinct, this place has it all.

The market itself is quite small but the sellers seem to be at the height of their game.  The product quality outshines even that of the ArtBox Market.  Custom leather boots and handbags, hand-sewn clothing, and even vinyl records can be discovered among the items on display.  The Jam Factory will also host a farmers’ market occasionally but you just need to keep an eye out for the dates.  The same could be said for all other events held at the facility.

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Spotlight Bangkok : ArtBox Market

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Markets are a must do for anyone making the trip to Thailand.  In Bangkok alone you can find the world’s largest open-air market at Chatuchak Weekend Market, the beautiful flower market at Pak Khlong Talat, as well as the water-based Talin Chan Floating Market.  A common theme among the markets is that many of the items available are marketed specifically for the Thai lifestyle.  They are a must see for any tourist but can become a bit stale after you visit one or two.  This is where ArtBox comes in; to throw you a curveball for your market journeys.  The hipster-est of all hipster markets.

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